Re: Re. The aorist!

From: Thomas J Logan (
Date: Mon Nov 23 1998 - 09:14:59 EST

Hello Paul

I would like to take a shot at answering your question. I'm just a wee
little baby greeker so don't take me too seriously; especially if some
of the other far more learned contributors reply. However the aorist is
indeed punctiliar (one L) and represents a snapshot of the action. As
you note the idea of time is present only in the indicative mode. There
the idea of time past is present but according to A.T. Robinson that is
due to the augment and to the secondary endings employed. The aorist in
all modes makes but a summary statement of the action. The perfect tense
has a combined aspect and indicates state of completion. This may be
action presented as finally attained after effort or as the the
permanent result of the completion. - A.T. ROBINSON

Robinson appears to quote Brodus favorable as stating the Greek "Is an
aorist loving language"
The implication he draws is to use the aorist tense in the greek unless
there is a real reason for some other tense". In other words there is
nothiong special about the use of the aorist

In Christ

"Paul F. Evans" wrote:

> List, Help me out here. I am really afraid to ask this question for
> fear of striking up a re-ignition of the great aspect discussion of
> '96! However, I am interested in an opinion. In taking basic first
> year Greek I was told that the aorist was a punctilliar (spelled
> correctly?) tense signifying past action completed in the past.
> However, after many years of NT study (I should know more), I have
> come across many grammars that bill the aorist as the generic tense
> which says nothing particular about the action it describes. The
> theory seems to be that if the writer wished to say something special
> about the action of a verb he would choose a tense other than the
> aorist. Obviously I have discovered that the aorist is only a past
> tense in the indicative or imperative moods. If the aorist is a a
> punctilliar tense, describing past completed action, it would be
> little different from the prefect, because obviously done is done and
> the results would persist. My question is whether the aorist is a sort
> of generic tense which describes nothing special about the action of
> the verb, and whether it is true that a writer would choose another
> tense when he wanted to specify something specific in that sense. If
> this is a dumb question forgive me! Only, I come across a
> significant body of literature that makes much about the use of the
> aorist for its theology and others who discount such (I am interested
> only in discussing the nature of the aorist here). Paul & Loala
> EvansWilmington First Pentecostal Holiness ChurchE-mail:
> Web-page:

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